So, we’re still talking about characters here and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say:
It’s important for people to like your main character.
Obviously, this isn’t always true. There are exceptions, but just in general, okay? You all can debate about it in the comments if you like. It might be fun.
A big key to the reader liking your character is:
YOU LIKING YOUR CHARACTER.
It’s hard to write 75,000 words or even a picture book if you despise your main character. It’ll come through to the reader.
Another big key to character likability is: THE FIRST IMPRESSION.
That’s the big moment when the reader first meets the character.
So think about your reader and whether or not they are going to like a character that they first see picking their nose (some will/some won’t) or rescuing a bird (some will/some won’t) or jumping off a swing or telling off a teacher or moping in their room or playing in a sandbox.
This first impression is shallow.
It isn’t deep and it’s not enough to sustain the reader throughout the book, but it’s the first link the reader has to understanding the character. It’s important. It’s just as important as a lead sentence. I swear it.
And it’s also important to remember that if that first impression is unpleasant (say you are writing a romance novel geared towards straight women and the male romantic figure is expelling gas out his rectum while studying ear wax when we first meet him (Note: This is gross not quirky.), it is really hard sometimes to overcome that first impression. You, as the writer, have to work super hard.
Even if he looks like me?
Yes, Fabio, even if he looks like you. Maybe even more so.
Finally, readers usually want to feel sympathetic to the main character. They want to relate to him or her or it. But they also want to be curious about that main character. The main character shouldn’t be EXACTLY like the reader, is what I’m saying.
For the rest of these posts on character, check out the tags CHARACTERS, MAKING CHARACTERS or WRITING CHARACTERS. For other writing tips, just check out WRITING TIPS.
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